The following liturgy video and podcast episode are part of FIRST UNITED’s Spiritual Care ministry’s Advent Awakening series.
Advent Series – PEACE
Listen to the latest episode from An Uncomfortable Advent podcast series by Lauren Sanders, Indigenous Spiritual Care Chaplain, and Pastor Peter Sanders, Ordained Clergy with Presbyterian Church USA:
Watch the Advent Awakening PEACE video by Rev. Jennifer Goddard-Sheppard, Interim Spiritual Care Director:
On this Advent Sunday of PEACE we are to “Repent for the Kingdom of heaven has come near. We are to “Prepare the Way.”
Peace! Where’s the peace in this time of truth and reconciliation?
What about the extensive list of sins against us settlers? How do we listen to those hard truths? How do we name and own our culpability and collusion with the colonial mindset and way of being?
Our history and traditions hold the horrors and the highlights that we have inherited. This is the received tradition that we were born into and grew up with.
What about the issues still at work today? Racism, addiction, poverty, mental illness, homelessness,
embedded systemic and structural discrimination, cultural appropriation and more?
What about Canadian supremacy and our elitist attitude toward “those people” whether they be Indigenous, “From Away” or have yellow, off white, brown, or Black skin? What story do we tell ourselves?
What narratives are at work in our worldview and way of being? Whose story do we tell? Whose story IS IT to tell?
What is the truth of it all? What difference does it make? Why is truth telling so important?
Because there can be no peace without justice. And justice making requires truth telling. Truth telling is a critical part of reconciliation, peace, and justice.
Truth telling takes times, effort, and requires willing storytellers and active listeners. We need to make space for Truth telling and time to hear the stories.
“May quietness and tranquility fill you with a sense of everlasting safety and security…”
And he will be their peace” Micah 5:5
Peace is the feeling that comes when you feel untroubled and secure. You sense peace when your relationships and circumstances are going well. But God’s peace is deeper still.
Peace, I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” “John 14: 27
Peace? At First United, how do we respond with hope and peace? With Prayers and presence and with charity and with justice.
With food, clothing, shelter, housing, mail services, tax services, advocacy and more. We serve and support the community.
You are invited to be the hope and be the peace with your actions! Put your peace on the line and support the work.
Lighting the Candle of Peace
Leader: Advent is the season of preparation and waiting.
All: We have prayerful work to do.
Leader: As we light these candles of Hope and Peace, we join with many others around the earth, proclaiming our faith and our prayerful intentions to be prepared and to do the work.
All: We wait expectantly. We wait with hope. We pray and act for Peace. A peace that is for all peoples. A light of peace that shines for all.
Leader: Be the hope. Be the peace.
All: We will be the hope and the peace with Creator God being our helper.
Prayer of Peace for the People
Leader: With upset and unrest, we enter into the Holy presence.
Oh God, the people are angry. So much rage and aggression repeatedly released. People fighting and waging war in cities and towns the world over and right down the street!
Is there peace on these streets where the gangs compete and the powerful plague the weak?
Oh God, can there be peace within? Can there be peace on earth?
All: Forgive us our hurtful and harmful trespasses as we forgive those who hurtfully and harmfully trespass against us.
Shine and ignite the light of peace upon us and within us. Ground us in the glory of the great creation and the peaceful presence that passes all understanding. Empower our potential for peace making and peace keeping. Ignite our peaceful actions to help create the peaceable kingdom on earth. Amen.